Our main task is making sure that the estate is administered of the deceased (often a relative or friend of yours) efficiently, with tax liabilities settled and the beneficiaries receive their due inheritance.

Not all estates are simple.  Life is complicated these days, and we can all leave problems behind, often unintentionally.  These are some of the problems we deal with every day.

Our probate and estate administration department is headed by Mr C. G. Dawson who has some 30 years experience in the field of wills, probate, estate administration and powers of attorney.  He is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and attends their specialist courses.  He spends about half his professional time on this work.  He is ably assisted by Kelly Taylor who has some 23 years experience working for the firm having moved to this department 3 years ago.

The administration of un-contested estates with UK only assets. 

There is no standard estate.  Wills & families vary.  Some people do not make wills. Assets range from a few simple items to estates of great size and complexity.  Tax considerations and business/agricultural property reliefs may apply.  Problems may arise over lifetime gifts, income tax, pensions, trusts, locating beneficiaries and (on occasions – family disputes).  The list is endless. We set out below our charges for dealing with a non-complex probate file, based on estate value, listing the disbursements payable and indicating what we will charge extra for and the basis of those extra charges.

For several years we have given detailed quotations based on the firm’s “Probate Checklist”.  That process will continue.  Our website is aimed at giving you an “average” position, not knowing all of the issues surrounding the estate.

A brief list of the administration of estate work required is set out below.

Estate Administration is frequently time consuming.  Most Grants of Probate/Letters of Administration can be obtained within 25 weeks of us being fully instructed.  Recently the Probate Registry has quoted a 16 week application period and a further 4 weeks can be added where Inheritance Tax is payable.  These times are outside our control and are a regrettable sign of the deterioration in public service levels.  Times are likely to be longer if specialist valuations of assets are required.  The time taken to administer estates may be determined by how long it takes to sell assets (usually the house) the time taken to settle and agree tax liabilities, family disputes and other factors such as locating missing beneficiaries that may cause delay.  Nevertheless, most non-IHT taxable estates will be concluded within 9 months of instruction and taxable estates within 18 months of instruction.  This is, however, a general guide only, and complex or disputed estates may take much longer.  Our fee scale below does not include conveyancing charges on any property sale.  Please see the separate beneficiary scale on our website.

Our standard fee scale :-

(Based on simple valid will.  A house/flat and no more than 8 accounts/investments with different institutions)

For estates including the value of a house/flat up to £100,000 £625 (plus VAT at 20%)
For estates including the value of a house/flat up to £150,000 £825 (plus VAT at 20%)
For estates including the value of a house/flat up to £200,000 £1,025 (plus VAT at 20%)
For estates including the value of a house/flat up to £250,000 £1,525 (plus VAT at 20%)
For estates including the value of a house/flat up to £300,000 £2,100 (plus VAT at 20%)

Total gross estate above £300,000   1% of the gross estate (plus VAT at 20%) – gross estate here means the value of the estate before deduction of outstanding debts/liabilities except mortgages plus ½%  of the deceased’s own dwelling (plus VAT at 20%) – this means before payment of any outstanding mortgage.


£325,000 gross value of the estate (including the deceased’s £200,000 house)

£200,000 x ½%=                £1,000

£125,000 x 1% =               £1,250

£2,250 + VAT at 20%


There are relatively few disbursements in probate cases.  The application fee for a Grant of Probate and office copies of the Grant are normally in the range of £275-£285.  These application fees are not subject to VAT.  Other than these fees, professional valuation of certain assets (eg property, personal belongings and shares) may be needed – prices vary considerably depending on the items in question and their value.  A land property valuation may cost between £100-£500 plus VAT (at 20%).  A shares valuation from a stockbroker could cost 0.5% of portfolio value plus VAT (at 20%).   Also, there may be Land Registry fees payable i.e. if land/property is transferred to a beneficiary (no extra fee from us, unless a complex or unusual transaction).  These fees are based on value and are not subject to VAT.  The most likely range of Land Registry fees is £70-£100.  Some estates require placing Trustee Act notices in the London Gazette and a local newspaper to protect the Personal Representative(s) against claims against the estate.  Costs vary but average £350 plus VAT at 20%.  We will advise when we consider this necessary.

Several issues can result in additional work being required in probate cases.  The following list is not exhaustive, but the more common issues are: –

The need for and likely cost of additional work will be agreed with clients in advance (as it becomes necessary) and charged at an hourly rate – currently £225 plus VAT per hour for Mr Dawson.  In appropriate cases we may agree a cap or limit on these fees, however some extra disbursements may be payable depending on circumstances.  Issues may arise where expert advice/ work from other professionals will be necessary and incur further costs i.e. employing an expert accountant to settle tax liabilities or a chartered surveyor value land/property or its sale.  Occasionally a barrister’s opinion as to the interpretation of a will or the validity of a claim against the estate.  All these fees can vary greatly.  Counsel’s opinion could cost £1,500 to £2,000 (plus VAT at 20%).  Expert valuations and accountancy fees normally range from £100 to £1,000 (plus VAT at 20%) and even more in complex cases.  Again, we will agree a budget with you.   We are always willing to discuss instructions with you – we are here to help at what is for all clients a difficult time.

Sometimes, Executors only require us to deal with applying for a Grant of Probate or Administration and arranging payment of Inheritance Tax, leaving them to administer the estate.  We are prepared to deal with an estate on this basis and can provide a quote based as a percentage of our full administration fees – usually around 35% of the fees quoted earlier plus VAT at 20%

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